Detail View: NASA Johnson Space Center Collection: STS-55 Earth observation of a thunderstorm over the coast of Nigeria

Title: 
STS-55 Earth observation of a thunderstorm over the coast of Nigeria
Description: 
STS-55 Earth observation taken aboard Columbia, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102, shows a 30-mile-wide thunderstorm (tops estimated near 45,000 feet). It was photographed by the STS-55 crew from an altitude of 162 nautical miles over the coast of Nigeria, 05-02-93, at 11 hours, 13 minutes, 34 seconds GMT (near noon, local time). A Meteosat view taken at almost exactly the same time allows us to pinpoint the location of the storm but does not show any of the detail evident in the Shuttle photograph. This huge thunderstorm was in the early stages of formation, as can been seen by the intense turbulence in the cauliflower shape of the top. Two major updrafts can be seen as the rose-shaped regions in the cloud tops. An easterly wave in the low levels of the atmosphere created a line of instability, which, together with an ample supply of moisture from the warm waters of the Gulf of Guinea and solar heating over the coast throughout the morning, caused this megastorm to occur. North is to the left
Date Taken: 
1993-05-06
Program: 
Shuttle
Mission: 
STS-055
Subject Terms: 
(FROM
facet_what: 
Columbia
facet_where: 
Guinea
facet_when: 
05-02-93
Photo ID: 
STS055-103-084
Film Type: 
70mm
UID: 
SPD-JSC-STS055-103-084
original url: 
http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/luceneweb/caption.jsp?datesearch=Go&from_day=1&from_month=1&from_year=1900&hitsperpage=5&pageno=1727&photoId=STS055-103-084&searchpage=true&to_day=31&to_month=12&to_year=3000